For 7 years I have been dealing with everything that is Italian American on a daily basis, and by now I have learned to recognize when a name comes back often, involved in many things: that is a leader of the community in which he/she lives and works. This is what happens in the Italian American community in Chicago: if there is music or the celebr...

Did Chicago sleep better Thursday night after the Christopher Columbus statues were taken down? One group of Chicagoans did not. In fact, one very close-knit community has been hurt — badly. The Italian American community, which, along with Chicago, had a symbol of its resilience removed. More correctly, dismantled and hauled away. Upon comin...

At a moment in our history when conflict is rampant and emotions are running high, Chicago-area Italian Americans are charting a decidedly different course. They’re building coalitions, employing quiet diplomacy and reaching out across the divide to build support for their causes. The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans has been at the foref...

A group of aldermen and several Italian American groups have filed a complaint calling the Chicago Board of Education's decision to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous People's Day illegal. Every October, the city's Italian American community celebrates Columbus Day with a large, vibrant parade downtown. While that celebration won't change anytime...

The Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations brought its message of unity to Chicago recently. Conference Chair Dr. Aileen Sirey, and Vice Chair Basil Russo met with representatives of 20 member organizations of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans. The meeting was hosted by JCCIA President Sergio Giangrande. The m...

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas has commissioned Jo Ann Serpico as an Honorary Cook County Deputy Treasurer in recognition of her longtime activism in the Italian community. “Without Jo Ann’s contributions over many years, the Italian community would not be as vibrant as it is today,” Pappas said when presenting Serpico with her commission at a...

The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans has launched a pair of scholarship programs that takes academic financial aid up a notch. A $5,000 Frank J. Vigilante Scholarship will be presented to students of Italian extraction who demonstrate financial need and high academic achievement. In addition, a $6,500 Nick and Helena Patti Foundation Scho...

One of the most thrilling and glamorous events in the Chicago-area Italian-American community is the contest to determine who will reign as La Bella Regina of the Columbus Day Parade. “Few events in the community can match the pageantry of the annual Columbus Day Queen Contest,” says JCCIA Executive Director Jo Ann Serpico. “The queen will be the s...

Dominic DiFrisco, the man known as the "voice of Chicago's Italian-American Community," died Saturday morning due to complications from lymphoma. He was 85. For decades, he steered the ABC7 broadcast booth during the annual Columbus Day Parade, providing color commentary with his encyclopedic knowledge of Chicago-Italian history and achievements. ...

The new president of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans hit the ground running at the organization’s annual meeting. Speaking to a packed dining room at Casa Italia’s Banquet Center, Sergio Giangrande announced a dramatic rollback of dues in an effort encourage involvement on the part of both individuals and organizations. Giangrande pr...